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Facebook Changes the Rules. Again

December 9, 2009

For a site that is often purported to be all warm and fuzzy, full of social enthusiasm and community they don’t seem to get the idea of community and camaraderie very well at Facebook. First there was the privacy policy debacle, then there was the whole thing about not using contests to grow your Fbook friends list and a bunch of other rules about what you can and can’t say about Facebook.=. In the latest post from the social media giant this morning, Facebook announced what they call “New Tools to Control Your Experience”. The whole thing smacks of Big Brother breathing down your neck don’t you think?


According to Fbook, the privacy settings are now “simpler” and there will be a tool to set the privacy levels on every post you make (doesn’t that seem simpler?)

Shortly when you log in to Facebook you’ll be asked to make choices about opening up parts or all of your Facebook updates to be publicly visible. You can set these levels yourself but it appears the default will be public. This means that for every post you’ll want to click the little lock icon in the bottom right corner and set your privacy settings for the post.

Minors however will have tighter settings so that anything they make “public” will stay within Facebook and any networks or groups they’ve joined through the site. Minor information will not be released to the search engines.

All in all I get it. Sure, I want my profile to be public so my friends and business associates can find me, but hey, I’ve got a lot of profiles out there to get that info across. Do a search on Janet Fouts and you can find me. I, like a lot of users kept Facebook to my close friends and the business folk I really like and want to know more about on a personal level. Now how are we supposed to deal with these new anti-privacy settings? Don’t tell me privacy is dead. I know that, but a network where we could have a semblance of control seemed like a nice (if naive) idea.

I dunno. After all, the service is free. Should we have a right to whine about it all? Where’s the line here? What do you think?

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